Signs You May be More of a Follower than a Disruptive Leader

Many of us say we want to do something bold, to stand out and be remembered.  But are we really doing it?  Are we willing to step out or are we too content sitting back?

Here are three signs that will give you your answer.

Sign #1:Followers Refrain from being Different.

Being different just isn’t important to the follower in us. Instead, that tiny little annoying voice says, “Hey! What are you thinking? Don’t be different. After all, you don’t want to be known as THAT person. Come on, you want to be in the COOL group where everyone wants to hang. You don’t want to be the loser. So knock it off. Be like everyone else and you will be popular.”

It is fun to be cool and to be popular. But if that is the sign we enjoy seeing, we are likely on the wrong road and will miss many incredible opportunities to do seemingly impossible things. IF we are listening to that voice, that is a bad sign. As he comedian Bill Engvall would say, “Here is your Sign.”Cool

Sign #2: Followers Refuse to be bold.

We listen to that voice, every now and then, when we wonder if we should play it safe or take the big risk. It is then that we hear the familiar voice, “I wouldn’t do that if I were you. Have you thought about what could happen? You realize you could lose it all. You have worked far too hard to get what you have. Why risk it? You might never get it back. Don’t be sorry. Forget the impossible. Play it SAFE.”

When we listen to that SAFE voice, we gladly follow the well-worn road to ordinary and predictable results. We jump into the traffic and wait patiently for our promised opportunity. But once we get there, we realize we have to share it with everyone else. Meanwhile, the road to incredible results goes in the other direction. Like everyone else following this sign, we didn’t think we could make that trek. If you are determined to follow that road, “Here is your sign.”BeSafe

Sign #3: Followers Forgo commitment.

Instead, there are times where we listen to the voice that keeps our option open. “Relax, don’t get tied down. Keep your options open. Take it easy. Sit back and enjoy life. After all, you would sure hate to jump in and find out some of your cool friends are doing something better.”

When we listen to that little voice, we step back and wait for other things to happen. We become passive in a world of activity and can’t resist the sign to RELAX. But hey, it is a powerful temptation. Who can resist just a little relaxation? It is kind of fun to kick back and be uncommitted, but when we do, we only earn the mediocre results. We will never disrupt anything because life is too peaceful. If we are sitting on that beach, we should be able to see the signs. We may even enjoy hearing, “Here’s your Sign.”Relax

To do the impossible, forget being a follower and become the disruptive leader.  Leaders have a different sign.


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I am Dr. Loren Murfield and I work with aspiring and emerging leaders to do what followers and critics think is impossible. If you are ready to take that bold step, contact me today at

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